Viewers were stunned by Watchmen episode 8, which aired on December 8 on HBO. But if you turned off the TV too quickly, then you missed the after-credits scene with some confusing points about Veidt. Read on for more details, including fan theories about the horseshoe and the Fogdancing book.
This article has spoilers for Episode 8.
The Fogdancing Book Is Only Real Within the ‘Watchmen’ Universe
In the after credits scene, we’re joining Veidt on Europa sometime after his trial has ended. (Which is still confusing to me.) The clones ask Veidt over and over to stay, and Veidt says no as they smash tomatoes on his face. He’s tied to a stake of some sort while he refuses over and over to stay.
It seems that the clones that Dr. Manhattan created were ordered to worship him once Manhattan decided to leave, and now they don’t ever want to let him go. (These “clones” for lack of a better term are confusing all on their own. How much free will do they have? How much free thought and individuality?)
In the next scene, Veidt’s in prison getting a cake delivered to him. He’s reading a book called Fogdancing. He tells the Game Warden that the book is about loneliness, which he says the warden can’t understand. The warden says he was the first to emerge from the water and he saw Jon create everything in the world. He’s the “Adam” of the world so yes, he says, he does understand loneliness all too well.
“Why is heaven not enough?” the warden asks him. Veidt says it’s because this isn’t his home and his 8 million children are likely crying out in desperation for him to return. “Heaven is not enough because heaven doesn’t need me.”
The Fogdancing book is a real, fictional book only within the Watchmen universe. It’s written by Max Shea, who exists in the Watchmen universe as the author who also wrote the “Black Freighter” comics that appeared in the original Watchmen comic. (I have to admit, I skimmed over the Black Freighter scenes because I thought they were pretty boring in the comic.)
Max Shea was one of the people Veidt used to help create the giant squid, according to Watchmen canon.
Fogdancing also just happened to be the novel that Ma Clark was reading in the opening sequence just before the “meteorite” landed on the farm.
Interestingly, the Fogdancing book talks about how the only way to be reborn is by dying, which seems like a reference to Manhattan.
We’ve Seen the Horseshoe Before
Buried in the cake is a horseshoe and, for some reason, Veidt is thrilled. It looks like he’s going to use it to escape and tunnel his way out. At least, that’s the message we’re given when the scene ends as he’s digging into the prison floor.
Fans are confused by the horseshoe. Here’s one comment on Reddit:
We’ve seen the horseshoe before in Veidt’s world. In an earlier episode, he was given the horseshoe before during his anniversary party by one of his “clones.” But at that time, he didn’t want the horseshoe. Is it possible that Veidt had been training the clones to deliver a horseshoe to him in case this very day arrived?
Many fans think this was part of a long thought-out plan by Veidt. He may not be able to see multiple timelines at once like Manhattan, but he can think so many steps ahead of everyone else that he’s almost more powerful than Manhattan at times. He certainly outsmarted him once before, long ago.
Other fans think that Dr. Manhattan told him he would need the horseshoe one day, so Veidt has been training the clones all along.
I’m guessing, however, that Manhattan never told Veidt about the horseshoe and it’s something Veidt figured out all by himself as an escape plan.
This is a developing story.